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Trade War Turning Chinese Students Off the U.S.

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Chinese university students in Wales

A group of overseas Chinese university students on the Aberystwyth Promenade in Wales.

Credit: Alamy

Chinese students are shunning the United States amid the trade war with China, with many opting instead for Britain, Canada, and Australia, according to money-transfer firm Easy Transfer.

After the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Chinese imports last year amid accusations of IP theft and forced technology transfer, the number of Chinese students wanting to study in the U.S. declined over concerns they may not be able to get a visa, according to Easy Transfer, a fintech start-up facilitating tuition payments for Chinese students abroad.

The "2019 Chinese Student Overseas Study Survey Report" from Chinese education consultancy EIC Education showed that 20.14 percent of respondents chose the U.K. as their first choice of study destination, ahead of the United States at 17.05 percent.

Other popular choices included Canada and Australia among English-speaking nations, as well as Germany and France in Europe, and Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea in Asia.

Studying in the U.S. is seen by Chinese students as the best way to open doors to the top jobs at home or abroad. Chinese nationals make up one third of the 1.1 million international students in the U.S., according to New York-based Institute of International Education.

However, the situation is changing. "The trade war makes it more difficult for Chinese students to apply to U.S. universities and it is also harder to find jobs in the U.S. after graduation, especially in the hi-tech sectors," says Zhang Yuguang, whose 16-year-old daughter had been preparing for two years to study computer science overseas.

From South China Morning Post
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